A Sledge Hammer To Kill A fly

I have long believed that exiting the EU was unnecessary to control benefit tourism, immigration and healthcare. The far right has largely succeeded in convincing the less educated in political affairs that the only solution was to exit the EU. This was a lie and still is.

The Conservatives initially launched their campaign on giving the British people a referendum on Europe with a key focus on austerity. UKIP claimed freedom of movement was hurting public services and British jobs. Of course both these parties had good points but let’s face it, one party was racist and the other was simply fighting for power they had been deprived for a decade, neither party was willing to implement any real solution. Sadly to say the coalition government was right to push for a re-negotiation of our position in Europe, let’s face reality, Cameron would have succeeded. If you have any doubts then you should review the European Directive governing free movement. Extract below:

To be fully covered by the European right of free movement, the EEA citizen needs to exercise one of the four treaty rights:

  • working as an employee (this includes looking for work for a reasonable amount of time),
  • working as a self-employed person,
  • studying,
  • being self-sufficient or retired.

These rights are named after the Treaty of Rome, which defines the freedom of movement for workers. They have been extended over time, and are mainly of historical significance by now, since being self-sufficient has been added to the list. As long as a citizen has sufficient money or income not to rely on public funds and holds comprehensive health insurance, he/she exercises one or more treaty rights. If no treaty right is exercised, the right of free movement is limited to three months. [ref. wikipedia]

Full directive

We can clearly see from the above directive we could have easily negotiated a revision of any laws allowing benefit claimants from EU states to unreasonably claim welfare, other issues surrounding jobs required a reform of labor laws, so employers were not allowed to discriminate against local workers on the basis EU workers are paid less and work more or simply give incentives to companies who hire local British workers or even put in affirmative action in the form of quotas. In my opinion the issue was purely domestic. Do you still think we needed to Brexit?

In any case we have and now we realize the effect on trade and quite possibly we would still remain in the EU in all but name. So what are our options to table to the EU?

Option 1 

We exit the Union without a trade deal.

Effect: We will most likely end up having to do bilateral trade deals with countries like India, China and the USA which will take years. What does this mean? Well, the USA is known for growth hormone meat which at the moment is banned by EU law, read this article. China imports to the UK more than they export from the UK, this means no real change, India imports labor, has a population of 1 billion people, they have also taken lower level jobs that have completely migrated to the Indian mainland. A trade deal with India would definitely involve more movement of skilled and unskilled labor and this will be worse than the EU movement.

Option 2 

We become an EFTA (European Free Trade Association) member like Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.

Effect: This would require, the maintaining of the freedom of movement, as it will be impractical to have tight border controls with European partners. This will be a very soft Brexit but this will be a much safer option but certainly would render the referendum pointless.

Option 3 

We threaten Europe with going Offshore.

Effect: This would certainly be the worst outcome, first off, this will create a lot of animosity within the Isles and would likely open old wounds. It will also create massive inequality as price inflation takes hold, the government would have to reduce taxes on the working class to compensate for the elite crowd that will pour in, we have already seen similar effects in Kensington and Chelsea. This will  affect the capital account hugely with 60% of £716.5 billion revenue from taxes coming from income tax and national insurance contributions. More data on tax receipts here.

It is time we think long and hard about our future. The best option is to push for EFTA membership with an exit of EEA. This will take us out of the European Court Of Justice but keep us in the EFTA court, this would give us some flexibility in terms of dodging the directives that seem to imply that we have no control of our laws. We should not need to make those expensive contributions as well, this will be the best possible outcome in light of the circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Story Of Immigration

The United Kingdom is one of the most diverse countries in the world and no stranger to migrants. Migration has been happening to the Island since recorded history. The Saxons invaded and settled in the 1st millennium AD, to be followed by the Danes and the Normans, by the 19th century the United Kingdom boasted a diverse set of European and African migrants. Border controls in the 19th century were not as sophisticated and the Victorian era was bristling with poverty and inequality, it is no surprise people cared little for the presence of migrants. In the 1960’s post war era, indentured labour became necessary, so Caribbean migrants sailed to Britain and despite living under terrible conditions, they made valuable contributions to Britain’s public service sector, from housing development, railway, to energy and healthcare. Pakistani migrants also came to the UK developing a 24 hour local economy that today is invaluable to Britons. Despite this migration, non-white immigrants and all their descendants still make up less than 5% of the British population, their contribution in the face of senseless hate through the post war years is astonishing, especially when you think of their contribution to development proportional to numbers. A big blow for the Enoch Powell crowd.

Britain is the 5th largest economy in the world. Many European nations like Spain and Italy have 30% youth unemployment and somehow always claim the rich North are seeking their demise. Let’s face facts, Spain had an empire similar the Britain, they participated in the slave trade. Their failure to emerge as a power in Europe was based on their attitude to migrants and former colonies under their charge. Britain and France still maintain close ties with their former colonies as a consequence France is the 6th largest economy in the world.  If Le Pen has her way, France could be staring into the abyss and may even turn out worse than Spain and Italy. Britain’s growth and success in the world is dependent on strong immigration that needs to be underpinned by a good legal framework to ensure we attract the right sort of migration.

In a world where education is becoming wide spread and wealth is global, migrants are aspiring and have the means to compete, so it is impossible to attract indentured labour as even poorer countries now have well educated migrants. Take David Sengeh, a Sierra Leonean migrant to Sweden who studied Engineering, earned a scholarship to MIT and developed the first perfect fit bionic limb, he was inspired by the civil war in his home country (Ref. CNN African voices). His development would aid British, American and other amputees around the globe, his tax bill is likely to be worth 10 times that of the average jobber. There is no argument that migration adds a net  benefit to any nation lucky enough to attract migrants.

Let’s take a detour to Eastern Europe, still trying to shake its racist, bigoted and anti-Semitic roots. Women in Ukraine and Russia are treated as commodities to be bought and sold to the highest bidder, their value reduced to the curse of their Slavic beauty, the Ottoman legacy. Other former Soviet block states like Serbia and Romania are also wrestling with the prospect of being more open to attract business. Let’s face it, hardly anyone wants to migrate to Eastern Europe no matter where you are from, the stories of open dislike for migration and failing systems is a deterrent. That said, these countries are one of the poorest in Europe and continue to scramble for EU handouts and run the risk of being absorbed back into Russia or simply used as a work house for the EU.

Britain will likely be leaving the EU, a campaign won as a result of  the hubris of Londoners and city dwellers that take things for granted and the strong far-right message targeted towards the Islamic threat and European open borders. The poorer Eastern Europeans who shun migration in their countries hoped to takeover British industry with their industrious nature and repatriate those resources back to their home countries. It seems like the competition from this kind of uncontrolled migration is too much for Britain. There is a lesson in all of this, cultural understanding is an important aspect of migration, The UK needed an immigration policy friendly to former English speaking African, Caribbean and Asian colonies whom since the 16th century have offered a net benefit to the Island. They speak the same language and feel more of affiliation to the UK. It is clear that while Eastern Europeans are white Europeans and are genetically similar, they are culturally miles apart and feel no allegiance to the United Kingdom not ignoring the wave of Middle Eastern migrants that practice a completely different religion at the core and have always had strained relations with the West. Modern immigration policy must take into account cultural differences and in turn put measures in place that don’t jeopardize our place in the world but at the same time preserve our cultural identity.

Politicians needed to acknowledge that cheap European labour was going to hurt manual labour industries. They should have blocked access to Welfare and other healthcare facilities for new EU migrants, they should have made access rules for Commonwealth countries easier, this would have stemmed the need for companies to grab at the cheap labour pool. there should have been US affirmative style action, that is companies must consider UK citizens first for skills, this would have stopped ordinary citizens regardless of race being forced out of their jobs. It was just too easy for corporations to choose cheap European labour over domestic. While Britain is all about freedom of religion, people from Islamic backgrounds needed monitoring, a Chinese style community relations officer should have been appointed to observe what is being said in places of worship, this would deter terrorists from using mosques as meeting grounds and radical preachers would have been picked up earlier. Cyber security, remains paramount, companies like Google should be made to take down sites and videos citing racial or religious hatred, we have no 1st amendment in the UK. Some of these measures would be hard to enact but public support would definitely have swayed the political elite without the need for a nuclear option like Brexit. Immigration will be a never ending story it is question of what kind of immigration do we need and how do we manage it.

Did We Have To Brexit?

As we head for Brexit we have to start asking what went wrong between us and the EU. Who really stands to gain?

 

There is no real argument, the EU is a crazy project but how is it different from the Union of 52 States with Governors that can overrule the Federal Government? Some would say that EU legislation from Brussels cannot be overruled and we have to go along with it. If we take the example of Poland…

The Constitutional Tribunal of Poland ruled that while EU law may override national statutes, it does not override the Constitution. In cases of a conflict between EU law and the Constitution, Poland can make a sovereign decision as to how this conflict should be resolved (i.e. by changing the Constitution, leaving the EU or seeking to change the EU law). (Ref. Wikipedia)

So as stated above a member state can retain sovereignty in decision making. So what was the big idea on Brexit? Various member states have reviewed EU law in accordance with their own constitution and have found it to be compatible. In other words Brexit was unnecessary.

The solution for me was a review of anti-terror laws if they were not strong enough, a review of welfare policy to prevent welfare tourism. On the subject of terrorism, we could exercise stop and search powers more (less on Black kids and more on terror suspects), we could also utilize deportation of hate preachers and anti-terror detention laws more strongly (not forgetting rendition, EU law had no bearing then). On the subject of welfare, well it is clear that welfare systems in other member states are not as good, so there was definitely a legal argument on the basis of unequal availability of welfare means in other states, so if a Briton can’t find equivalent welfare coverage in one member state then the EU cannot possibly claim discrimination, most of Europe is in agreement that Eastern Europeans are poorer thus cannot offer equal welfare opportunity. This could have been successfully negotiated.

The fact remains, Brexit was about trade wars and military control by external actors. The US was under siege from Chinese, Mexican and Japanese imports, they have struggled to compete against European global exports and the one anglophone market, the UK was part of the EU and not able to effectively discuss favorable trade terms with the US. See below EU directive.

In 1981, with Directive 81/602/EEC, the EU prohibited the use of substances having a hormonal action for growth promotion in farm animals. Examples for these kind of growth promoters are oestradiol 17ß, testosterone, progesterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate (MGA). This prohibition applies to Member States and imports from third countries alike. The legal instrument in force is Directive 96/22/EC as amended by Directive 2003/74/EC.

The above is one of many European directives that restrict US imports. Russia must also have a vested interest in seeing a weaker Europe, A Brexit means a weaker NATO which gives them more leverage against NATO’s defense of Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Hungary not to mention Latvia and the newer states. Is it a wonder Russia is accused of election meddling? If Europe falls who will gain? The future is impossible to see but the end of the EU could spell the end of environmental protection, global human rights, a resurgence of religious violence and possibly global war. We would all look bar and say the catalyst was Brexit.